Book Review: Who’s Got Your Back?

Welcome back bookworms! I am planning to read a lot of books in July and this is the first of many. This on is called Who’s Got Your Back? Making and Keeping Great Relationships Among Men by David Smith.

A book about men's relationships

Synopsis: Who’s got your back? Most men will simply answer, “no one.” Not many men have close friends in the sense that women do. We’re more likely to form alliances than we are friendships. It doesn’t have to be this way. Who’s Got Your Back? will motivate men to build satisfying relationships which will be there during the ups and downs of life.

David Smith’s new book, Who’s Got Your Back? clearly presents the clarion call for men to be the kind of men modeled for us by Jesus. David shows us how we can be strong, task oriented, and achieving, but also warm-hearted and unmistakably relationship driven in the rough and tumble of everyday life.

This good book brings into sharp focus a genuine and functional and real-life definition of manliness. David Smith has skillfully woven stories with practical application strategies into a narrative as to how we build and support trusting relationships.

This book was in the middle for me. I enjoyed the concept it was trying to get across to its readers but at the same time didn’t really feel like it was applicable to me. It is more centered on men that don’t have fulfilling relationships with other men (in the non sexual way). It is a book on working towards making stronger connections with other men in your life because you need that foundation of people and support to build your character but also to bring joy and understanding of yourself more as a person to your life.

I feel that I have a strong relationship with many close friends that are guys and we make it priority to be ever present in each other’s lives. This book is more focused on the older generation (that being the baby boomers) that have a quieter lifestyle once they are married where the husband has one person to depend and rely on (his wife) and little to no other people. I don’t believe this should be the way either and this book is here to help these men branch out and find other fellowship among men that they could potentially be open and build a friendship with.

I feel that there is value in what this book has to offer and since it is very religious based, I think it would be a great resource for a men’s group based out of church. They could follow along together and work through the discussion questions at the end of each chapter.

It is a good book but I just feel that it didn’t apply to me where I am at in life right now. That being said, I will be passing the book on to my dad as I believe he would enjoy this book and could bring it to his Christian men’s group he attends.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Book Depository or Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by a publishing company in physical format to read and give an honest review.


Check out my latest Wrap Up video where I talk about the books I read in the month of June and announce the giveaway winner!

Get $.99 Shipping on ANY $30 order! Use code AFLFS99

Advertisements

Book Review: The Sun Is Also A Star

Bring out your contemporary’s! This month I am reading a lot of different books and decided to start it off with The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon.

books on a bookshelf

Synopsis

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

The main reason I picked up this book was because the movie came out recently and I wanted to read it before I watched the movie to see if the movie could do the book justice. I am really glad I picked this book up!

It was told from multiple perspectives and the entirety of the book was spanned over just one day. It explores the life of Natasha whose family is getting deported and her struggle trying to do everything in her power to stay in America. It also follows Daniel as he is on his way to his interview to get into a prestigious school to become a doctor. Their paths cross by complete luck (or was it fate) and you see them get to know each other.

I love when books play off of the “everything happens for a reason” bit and it shows how everything is connected and how it all played out because of certain events. This and books involving time always get me.

I don’t necessarily believe in the whole Insta love thing but I could see how it was kind of essential for this book.

The ending was absolutely amazing! I can’t say anything because I refuse to spoil this book but if you do pick it up, go all the way to the end because it is worth it.

There were a lot of side characters in the book and my favorite character actually was one of these side characters. Daniel and Natasha would annoy me at times but in their own little ways.

Honestly, this was a fun, easy contemporary read and is great to pick up for the summer and read at the beach or on the patio.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and Book Depository or find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I bought this book in physical format with my own money and read it because I wanted to.


Check out my May Wrap Up video where I talk about all the books I read in May and what I ended up thinking about them.

Beliosa

Book Review: From Foster Care to Millionaire

What’s up bookworms? Have you been reading lots? I know that I sure have. This recent read of mine was called From Foster Care to Millionaire: A Young Entrepreneur’s Story of Tragedy and Triumph by Cody Maclain.

5c807c9a3d4a5e305c4d3ced_codys book

Synopsis: Cody’s story offers all the components you’d expect from the success story of a young entrepreneur with Aspergers-motivation, drive, perseverance, focus, and passion. You might call it a rags-to-riches tale, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But that here-to-there narrative is only the top layer. Cody’s story unfolds to reveal a narrative that is more complicated and yet simpler, more central, to the human experience. What remains is the story of a boy, burdened like all of us with deep wounds and great gifts, searching for a purpose. What remains is a story that will inspire readers to find their true calling and work like hell to achieve their dreams.

Would you call this a memoir if the person is still alive? An autobiography? Well, this was a book about Cody Mclain’s life and it was an interesting journey.

I liked being able to see how he viewed the world and was very analytical at times and realistic at others. I have to give him props for starting a business when he was 14. That takes a lot of guts and time/commitment and he was successful in his efforts.

I believe that the title is a little misleading because he only really stays in foster care for a short time but it did show his development as he was hit with hardship after hardship throughout his life. There were so many people that he encountered and they all had integral parts in the building of his character.

He also had a dog named Max which was cool because that is what my dog’s name is! And his Max sounds just like my Max when he was younger.

The book was good. There were definitely parts where I felt like they could have been a little shorter but it all adds up and tells the story of his life and how he achieved success. He has all the skills of an entrepreneur and taught himself everything he knows.

I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to read about what it takes to not give up and follow your dreams (aka do what you want to do in life).

Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and Book Depository and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author in ebook format to read and give an honest review. 


I made my latest TBR video where I talk about all the books I will be reading in June and the buddy reads I will be taking part in. The new TBR jar also commences its journey with me.

Berrylook Free Shipping Over 55+

Book Review: The Wizard Heir

What up reader fam? Hey Hi Hello. Any guesses what this is? These are the intros to popular booktuber videos. But I will just say, hey it’s me again. I want to start this off by saying that I successfully completed my OWLS for the magical readathon! This was the last book I tackled. It was called The Wizard Heir by Cinda Williams Chima and is the sequel to The Warrior Heir.

The Wizard Heir book on a bookshelf

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Seph McCauley has spent the past three years getting kicked out of one exclusive private school after another. And it’s not his attitude that’s the problem: it’s the trail of magical accidents – lately, disasters – that follow in his wake. Seph is a wizard, orphaned and untrained, and his powers are escalating out of control.

After causing a tragic fire at an after-hours party, Seph is sent to the Havens, a secluded boys’ school on the coast of Maine. Gregory Leicester, the headmaster, promises to train Seph in magic and initiate him into his mysterious order of wizards. But Seph’s enthusiasm dampens when he learns that training comes at a steep cost and that Leicester plans to use his students’ powers to serve his own mysterious agenda.

This sequel begins with a new character named Seph and the book is set in his point of view instead of Jack’s from the first book. It deals a lot more with wizards instead of warriors in this one.

It starts off in Toronto which is really cool and then progresses to Maine for rest of it (at least for the most part). I love when books include places that I have either visited or are a part of the country I live in.

There were magical battles. A private school. Some tense family issues. What more could you want? I really enjoyed the friendships he made and I liked that his character was very different from Jack’s.

I found that some plot points were very easy to figure out but it didn’t hinder the book’s capability to dazzle me with its magical elements. And there was more discussion about this urban fantasy’s wizarding world and the different factions of magical folk which I really liked learning about.

The wizarding world seems to be very flawed and Seph and the other characters are working to fix it so that all the factions are treated equally. I look forward to reading the next book in this series to see where Cinda takes it.

I would recommend this book for anyone that likes a good urban fantasy tale!

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this on Book Depository and Amazon or find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I read this book because I wanted to. It was not sent to me in exchange for a review.


I did some book hauling while I was away on vacation because who doesn’t like UK book covers. Check out the video below to see what book I picked up!

Visitors Coverage

Author Spotlight: Mindful Dementia Care

WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR

OF

Mindful Dementia Care: Lost and Found in the Alzheimer’s Forest

Tour Begins April 29th 2019

Mindful Dementia Care Cover

About the Book

Mindful Dementia Care is a book of stories and a book of love. It is a book without denial, without any papering over of the challenges that can be involved with being a caregiver, and the sadness, anger, and frustration they may bring. It is also a life-changing source of information that can revolutionize relationships with one of the most vulnerable populations in our midst. In her decades as a caregiver, Ruth Dennis witnessed the tragic results of the medicalized and institutionalized way of caring for people with dementia. And equally clearly, she saw a better way. Mindful Dementia Care illustrates alternative methods for making a difference and achieving results through care that honors the whole person. The key is creating an environment with countless enriching touchstones to the inner person through facilities that are filled with art, animal companions, music, dance, books, laughter, and wholesome food. It is an approach that embraces creative and artistic processes to shape a more loving, spiritual approach for elders and their families.

Print Length: 142 pages

Publisher: Golden Word Books (February 19, 2019)

Publication Date: February 19, 2019

ASIN: B07NXV95TT



About the Authors

Ruth Dennis :

In her decades as a caregiver, Ruth Dennis witnessed the tragic results of the medicalized and institutionalized way of caring for people with dementia. And equally clearly, she saw a better way. Mindful Dementia Care illustrates alternative methods for making a difference and achieving results through care that honors the whole person. The key is creating an environment with countless enriching touchstones to the inner person through facilities that are filled with art, animal companions, music, dance, books, laughter, and wholesome food. It is an approach that embraces creative and artistic processes to shape a more loving, spiritual approach for elders and their families.

Ruth Dennis has worked in mental health, the arts, and community education for over twenty-five years. She is a Certified Dementia Practitioner and, for the past two decades, has worked closely with palliative care, hospice, and grief support. Central to Ruth’s life is her role as caregiver to her brother Morgan, who has Down Syndrome. He is the bravest man she has ever known.

Velma Arellano:

Velma Arellano, MA, CDP, CALA, Director of Operations, has been working in elder care for the past 2 decades, and is the longest standing administrator in Santa Fe. She has overseen $2 million in construction and design to create two state of the art, intentional Alzheimer’s Care homes in New Mexico, and very recently acquired a third, non-Alzheimer’s, 14 bed, cozy, Assisted Living Bungalow in Santa Fe. The latter, Vista Hermosa is drawing on the cutting edge of culture change by incorporating the ideas of permaculture with elder care. Both Memory Care homes are the only two Eden Alternative Registered homes in New Mexico, and Vista Hermosa is well on its way. Eden Alternative is the honor society of long term care, and is an International Movement which truly changes the culture of how we care for our elders. Velma introduced “real” pets to our homes for elders to enjoy, goats, chickens, peacocks, and recently a 10-week-old German Sheppard puppy named Silver.

Ms. Arellano is a certified assisted living administrator (CALA), Certified Dementia Practitioner through the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP), and an Eden Alternative Associate. Velma has served on the board of Directors of the New Mexico Alzheimer’s Association and was only one 7 citizens who started the first Annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Santa Fe, Espanola and Los Alamos. She is a member of the 305th annual Fiesta’s de Santa Fe Council and was instrumental in the legislative passage of Helen’s Law. This law protects endangered elders, which eventually gave attention to the Silver Alert Program, like Amber Alert, but for memory impaired adults. Ms. Arellano is also a member of the National Biodynamic Association (Tierra Viva) and the Earth Citizens Organization (ECO) and is committed to mindful living and a sustainable world. Velma is active with Shim-Sung, Brain Yoga. Shim meaning heart, and Sung meaning open.

Ms. Arellano holds a Masters Degree in Agency Counseling and Psychology from New Mexico Highlands University and Bachelor’s Degree in Television Broadcast Journalism/ Mass Communication and Spanish.

As a volunteer, Velma is a member of the New Mexico Health Care Association and NM Assisted Living Task Force Committee (NMHCAALF)  . She sits at the table making her voice heard in guiding NMHCAALF’s advocacy in the New Mexico long-term care delivery system.  She helps identify and establish policies and provide resources that give people a real opportunity to improve the quality of life and quality of care in New Mexico’s frail elderly and intellectually-disabled populations.

Luke Nachtrab:

Luke Nachtrab, Owner, is a father of 3 children (Joey, Kate and Molly) and married to his lovely wife Kara. They currently live in Sylvania, OH where they were both raised and where Vista Living Home Office is based. He started his career shortly after completing his undergraduate degree at The Ohio State University.  As first employee of Northaven, the Nachtrab Family Business Management Company, Luke created an infrastructure to manage approximately 75 residential properties in the Toledo, OH area.  Assuming operations of Vista Living, the family assisted living facilities in 2004 (www.vistaliving.com) his passion and love for the elderly, particularly those walking with forgetfulness, and their families began to flourish.  He was named President of Vista Living Communities in 2011 where he utilizes his background to maintain the highest standards of care for those with Alzheimer’s. Moving his young family to Santa Fe for 4 months in 2014 he began to set the company up for growth. His passion for this business and making a positive impact on those with Dementia and their families is evident in his approach and philosophies. Using values taught by his parents he brings integrity and compassion to business.   With this as a guide he operates VLC as a business second; always trying to do what is right despite potential impact on the business.

Luke has a wide a diverse business background being intimately involved in executive leadership with global internet businesses, restaurants, real estate and logistics.  He has been on numerous organizational boards in the Toledo area.  He currently serves on the St John’s Jesuit High School Board and Finance Committee.  Engaging with the Industry he is also active on Argentum, panels on their mission to Expand Senior Living.
Continuously improving, Luke has completed many non-degree courses in the last 15 years and in 2011 completed his MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.  He is an instrument rated pilot, loves skiing, golfing, soccer, squash, fishing, culture, traveling, watching The Buckeye’s and being Dad! He looks forward to raising his children to someday be involved with the business.

Find Mindful Dementia Care Online:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44643108-mindful-dementia-care

Website: https://www.mindfuldementiacare.com/

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Mindful-Dementia-Care-Alzheimers-Forest-ebook/dp/B07NXV95TT/?tag=wowwomenonwri-20


Blog Tour Dates

Launch Day – April 29th
We launch this book blog tour with a giveaway for this unique book!
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

April 30th @ BreakEven Books

Today, the author spotlight at Breakeven Books belongs to a delightfully unique book called “Mindful Dementia Care” by Ruth Dennis with Velma Arellano and Luke Nachtrab. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about this informative book and it’s authors.

https://breakevenbooks.com/

May 1st @ Bring on Lemons with Tara Forst

Readers at BringOnLemons will hear from guest blogger and book reviewer Tara Forst as she reviews the unique book “Mindful Dementia Care” by Ruth Dennis with Velma Arellano and Luke Nachtrab. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from a health care professional as she provides honest feedback about this touching book. http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

May 4th @ The Muffin with Crystal Otto

In today’s Muffin post, Crystal reveals her thoughts and feelings about promoting a book that hits a little too close to home. Find out more about “Mindful Dementia Care” by Ruth Dennis with Velma Arellano and Luke Nachtrab while hearing some inspiring thoughts on getting out of your comfort zone by WOW!’s very own Crystal Otto.

http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

May 7th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples

Madeline Sharples reviews “Mindful Dementia Care” by Ruth Dennis with Velma Arellano and Luke Nachtrab for readers at Choices. Don’t miss Madeline’s insight into this unique book.

http://madelinesharples.com/

May 8th @ Bring on Lemons with Michelle DelPonte

Michelle DelPonte reviews “Mindful Dementia Care” for readers at Bring on Lemons blog. Find out what this Wisconsin Healthcare Provider has to say about this unique book that deals with topics Michelle is submerged in each day as a caregiver for aging patients.

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

May 16th @ Lisa Haselton

Lisa Haselton interviews Ruth Dennis about her unique book “Mindful Dementia Care; Lost and Found in the Alzheimer’s Forest”. Find out more about Ruth and her beautiful book.

http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

May 17th @ Coffee with Lacey

Lacey reviews “Mindful Dementia Care; Lost and Found in the Alzheimer’s Forest” for readers at Coffee with Lacey – don’t miss her insight about this touching book.

https://coffeewithlacey.com

May 22nd @ Bring on Lemons with Crystal Otto

Crystal Otto shares her review of Mindful Dementia Care with readers at Bring on Lemons blog.

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

May 24th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro

Linda Appleman Shapiro, distinguished author and psychotherapist offers her insight in a review of Mindful Dementia Care.

http://applemanshapiro.com/category/book-reviews/

May 28th @ World of My Imagination

Nicole Pyles Reviews Mindful Dementia Care and shares her thoughts about this unique book. Readers at World of My Imagination will benefit greatly from Nicole’s insight and this touching book.

https://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com/

May 29th @ Lisa M. Buske

Author Lisa M. Buske reviews “Mindful Dementia Care” for readers at her blog. Don’t miss Lisa’s insight into this unique and beautiful book.

http://www.lisambuske.com/blog


I did some book hauling while I was away on vacation because who doesn’t like UK book covers. Check out the video below to see what book I picked up!

Visitors Coverage

Book Review: Shipwrecked by Carey Fessler

Have I ever been busy this week! I finished the second book in the middle-grade trilogy I am currently working through. This one was called Shipwrecked: Dragon Island by Carey Fessler. Besides reading, I have been preparing for a weekend trip to Toronto where I hope to visit ECW Press and House of Anansi. These are 2 book publishers that I have been collaborating with. But for now, back to the review.

SHIPWRECKED 140KB

Synopsis: The trek has begun, and the trail will show no mercy.

After escaping a rogue submarine, twelve-year-old cousins Emma and Scott wash ashore on the beach of a remote tropical island lurking with jungle dragons and headhunters.

So begins their trek to find safety and civilization so they can return home to their families in Australia–but not before having to fight for their lives across a savage land. Can the young castaways survive long enough to find help?

I find that when I talk to people about trilogies, I am always an advocate for the middle book. It is the same case for this series. I really enjoyed the middle book in this trilogy.

The characters were already fleshed out so you know what to expect in their behaviors and the story picked up right where it left off so it felt like you were watching the next episode of a show in a series.

In this one, they were on what they thought was a deserted island and were trying to find a way to escape and get back to Australia where their families were. Little did they know that this island had more to it than they expected and thus ensued an eventful adventure from one side of the island to the other. This tale is filled with dragons (yes, I said dragons), tribal sacrifices,  and creepy crawly critters.

Emma and Scott further develop in bravery and courage as they are faced with more dire situations. Compassion and trust is something they need to find in themselves if they are to escape this island alive. Brock (one of the mutants) actually becomes likable in this one and I can safely say that I hope there is more of him in the finale to this trilogy.

Overall, I think this was a great middle book for a middle-grade series. It kept it interesting, fun, and engaging with all the predicaments that our main characters kept finding themselves in! And it was a quick read to at only 185 pages!

Book rating: 4.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon or find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me in ebook format by the author to read and give an honest review.

GeekBuying.com

Book Review​: Treading The Uneven Road

Bookworms! I have the pleasure of sharing another review with you. This one was called Treading The Uneven Road by L.M. Brown and was published by Fomite Press.

Cover of Threading The Uneven Road

Synopsis: The stories in this linked collection are set in a small village in the Northwest of Ireland in the early 1980’s and 90’s. A bypass around the village has rid them of their once busy traffic. The residents feel forgotten by the world. The need to reach out and be heard is explored in every story, from the young woman who starts to have phone conversations with her husband’s gay lover, to the dyslexic man who confronts his cruel teacher years later.

The collection is not only about the characters need for salvation but it is about a society that is unraveling. In Amends, we hear about the Bishop who has fathered a child. A priest is beckoned by a dying man to be mocked. The world inside and outside the village is changing. In every story, the characters need to make a choice on how they might carry on.

This book was a breath of fresh air. Not only did it satisfy my craving of travel with its beautiful descriptions of Northwest Ireland and the surrounding landscapes, but it also brought on this feeling of “lust” (not sure if this is the right word) to go there and see it for myself.

A lot of times, I won’t read a synopsis and jump right into a book so that I am completely unprepared and surprised by everything. An example would be to watch a movie without seeing the trailer for the non-readers out there. So I was very excited when I realized that all of these short stories were connected to the next and previous stories and the characters were the same in most of them. It was like revealing a little bit more of the townsfolk piece by piece from different viewpoints.

The story about Patrick was my favorite. He had a rough encounter that left his relationship with his father very tense (I won’t say what it is, no spoilers here). It made me feel for Patrick and just want him to succeed and be happy. The only downfall to this story is that I wanted more of it. It left me wondering if he would be ok and I just wasn’t ready to leave it at that.

All of these stories were just people being themselves and trying to fit into society or be what society wanted them to be. The feelings were raw and powerful and it came through in the way the author wrote about her characters.

I would recommend this book to anyone that wants intricate storytelling of an Irish village and all the components that make up its inner workings. It wasn’t a “WOW this is amazing” book but more of a subtle “wow I quite enjoyed that”.

Book Rating: 4/5

About the Author
L.M Brown is the author of the novel Debris. Her stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines. She grew up in Sligo, Ireland, but now resides in Massachusetts with her husband, three daughters, a dog and a bearded dragon.

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format by the author to read and give an honest review.

Make your special day sparkle with elegant sophistication.Send your guests home with favors that are tasteful and practical. They will forever remember your wedding thanks to these beautifully designed styles.

Book Review: The Suitcase and The Jar

I had the pleasure of reviewing a book called The Suitcase and The Jar by Becky Livingston. This book was sent to me by a publishing company called Caitlin Press. They are based out of British Columbia and were excited to do this collaboration with me when I approached them back in late October. Sara joined me and read this one as well so we will have 2 reviews below (one from me and one from her).

Synopsis: When a brain tumor takes the life of Becky Livingston’s twenty-three-year-old daughter Rachel, her life takes an unconventional turn. Rachel, an avid traveler, had one wish: to keep exploring the world.

So, for twenty-six months Livingston travels — untethered and alone — to Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Australia, India, England, Ireland, and North America, coast to coast. In her suitcase: Rachel’s ashes, heavy but compact. As she gradually merges her daughter’s remains with the elements, Livingston learns how to forge a new sense of belonging in an unfamiliar world.

Is it reckless for a fifty-three-year-old mother to quit her job and set off overseas with no agenda or timeline? Is such a journey squandering a life, or saving it?

Sara’s Review: This book is a memoir of a mother who has lost one of her daughters. She travels the world by house-sitting internationally, and she has brought a jar of her daughter’s ashes with her to leave in the places she finds beautiful. Throughout the book, Livingston reveals, through memories, her daughter’s life and death, as well as how she begins to attempt to piece her life back together after the loss.

This book was a very intriguing read, at first, as the writing is so brilliantly done that it is very easy to understand and empathize the author’s loss. I enjoyed the way we were both observing the loss as well as reading about poignant memories of her daughter before her death. As we learn about and grow with the author as she begins to feel like she can move on, I was particularly intrigued by the realizations and personal growth that was achieved and expressed. The writing in this novel does an excellent job of articulating something as inarticulate as an extreme loss, especially the loss of a child too young.

Through Livingston’s journey of acceptance both before and after her daughter’s death, it is so easy to feel her pain and understand all her feelings and reactions. I really enjoyed being able to experience something like this in such a beautiful and well-composed way, especially as it is a memoir rather than fiction.

Eventually, unfortunately, the book begins to feel like you’ve read it before, in that near the last quarter of the book it seems as though all the feelings have been adequately expressed, and it begins to feel repetitive. Though still beautifully written, you begin to feel like Livingston is just restating what she has already written in slightly changed ways. Although I can’t quite complain about a “character” in a non-fiction book, there were times when I had trouble understanding what comes off as selfishness from the author. Although she suffered the terrible loss of her daughter, she has another daughter whom she completely leaves and loses touch with during her journey, and evidently was too distracted by her sick daughter to ever be close to her second daughter even before the death.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this book. It was well constructed, I enjoyed the style and the writing, I was able to fully empathize with the author, and the story was beautiful and sad and meaningful. I only wish that it had been about 50 pages more succinct, and then I think that I would be more apt to recommend this book to others.

Sara’s Book Rating: 4/5

My Review: I can honestly say that I have never read a book like this before. It was very unique to see the perspective of the mother throughout her daughter’s slow decline from her brain tumor. Grief can play so many roles in one’s life and Becky had to deal with the loss of her fiance and the loss of her daughter to the same type of tumor. She explains how she dealt with this grief in many different ways and how there is no shelf life for the feeling of loss when someone you spend your life raising dies before you do.

What inspired me was the nomad lifestyle she took on to explore and distribute some of her daughter’s ashes in places all over the world. It helped her in her grieving process and it was a way to fulfill Rachel’s love of traveling in a way she never could. I wish I could go travel the world like Becky did (not under the same circumstances but to be able to see the many amazing places and destinations this world has to offer).

I find at some parts of the book, it gets a bit repetitive but this could be to illustrate the same routine that Becky had to go through while being a mother caring for family members that were terminally ill.

Overall, it was an enlightening book about a mother’s journey to figure out what life has to offer after losing what was most important to her.

My Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can get this book directly from the publisher on Caitlin Press or you can buy it on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us by Caitlin Press in physical paperback format to read and give an honest review.

MSC Cruises - $449 7-night Caribbean cruises to Cuba - Best overnight stay in Havana!

Christmas Season

It has been a flurry over here at Breakeven Books. We are getting prepared for the holiday season and are busy buying Christmas gifts, baking goodies and finishing up all the projects of the year.

And the best part about the holidays?! More time to read 🙂 I already have a list of 3 books I want to try and finish over the holidays. But I will still be saving time to do the regular Christmas traditions with the family such as driving around looking at Christmas lights with a thermos of cider, listening to Christmas music, and watching Christmas movies (especially It’s A Wonderful Life on December 24th).

via GIPHY

I also get a week off of my full-time job so that is nice. Nothing like a little R&R over the holidays.

Does your family have any holiday traditions that you partake in each year? What are they? Tell me in the comments below 🙂

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays bookworms.

GeekBuying.com

Book Review: The Ambassador Of What

Bookworms! I am super excited to share this review of The Ambassador Of What by Adrian Michael Kelly. This book was sent to me by an amazing publishing company called ECW Press as part of a blog collaboration I reached out to them about doing.

Publishers Weekly recognizes ECW Press as one of the most diversified independent publishers in North America. ECW Press has published close to 1,000 books that are distributed throughout the English-speaking world and translated into dozens of languages.

Synopsis: Slogging through the miles of a city marathon, an eleven-year-old boy encounters small miracles; about to marry one of her patients in a home for the elderly, a nurse asks her estranged son to come to the wedding and give her away; home from university, a young man has Christmas dinner with his hard-up dad in a bistro behind a rural gas bar. Men and boys and maleness, money and its lack, the long haunt of childhood, marriage and divorce — these lie at the heart of The Ambassador of What. Driven by an ear for how we talk, how we feel, how we fail, and how we love, these are tough and tender stories that take hold, and linger.

Honestly, this book was brilliant. It was so real and showed the sides of a family in all their great times and all their struggles. No family is ever perfect and it was refreshing to see that portrayed in these storylines.

The book was completely set in Canada (primarily Ontario) which I loved because this is where I live. I am in North Bay but the book referenced Toronto, Kingston, Sudbury and then other small towns in Ontario. Books that are set in my home country always resonate with me. It’s amazing to have attention being drawn to your home; the place where you have grown and created stories and memories in your lifetime.

It isn’t too long either so it keeps you interested from start to finish. The last part was about a father and son going fishing and it was so similar to how I used to go fishing with my dad. They had the same mannerisms in their preparation for the daily catch and what bait they used (frogs on a hook). I was not a fan of the impaling of frogs on a hook as I was a kid and felt bad for the frogs so I tended to use other styles of bait or the old classic worm and a bobble lure. I felt like I was reading my memory straight out of my brain. Then I had a dream about fishing that night that was so vivid, I felt very nostalgic the next day. A book that can bring out this feeling and emotion in me is one you don’t forget so quickly.

Overall, I would suggest picking up this book for a quick, entertaining read that will bring you back to your roots.

Book Rating: 4.5/5

You can buy this book on ECW Press and find it on Amazon and Goodreads!

Sidenote: I am running a fundraiser for our local Food Bank in North Bay to raise money and make sure that families will have something to eat over the holidays. You can donate at this link:

https://www.facebook.com/donate/2243695192532823/?fundraiser_source=external_url

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by ECW Press in physical format to read and give an honest review. 

Buy Now